MENTAL ILLNESSES ARE METHODS OF DEFENDING EGOS
The ego is the sense of separated self in a body; it is an idea the individual, relating to other people, constructed of who he is.
Something in people construct their ideas of who they think that they are, their self-concepts, self-images, and personalities.
Some neuroscientists believe that the brain produced the self; this is called epiphenomenalism; some people think that there is a spiritual element in people that upon manifesting in bodies construct their egos. This subject is controversial; I will stay away from it here.
I will just say that who and what that constructor of the ego self is we do not consciously know? What is self-evident is that once a child posits an idea of who he thinks that he is, during childhood, before age five, he believes that it is who he is and defends it.
Normal children, who normally have healthy bodies hence construct normal egos, defend their normal egos flexibly with the various ego defense mechanisms (repression, suppression, denial, dissociation, displacement, projection, rationalization, sublimation, reaction-formation, fantasy, minimization, fear, anxiety, anger, shame, pride, guilt and the various mental disorders).
Where the child posits an abnormal ego, say, a grandiosely big ego, he defends it inflexibly and rigidly and that absurd defense makes it seem real to him (but it is not real; defenses do not make false selves’ real selves).
Mental illnesses are abnormal egos defended with abnormal ego defense mechanisms.
Paranoia and delusion disorder is defense of a desired but false big self that is not who that person is; mania is defense of a desired but false wealthy and powerful self; anxiety is defense of a fragile self, fear is defense of a weak self, anger is defense of a weak self, depression is defense of a weak self, schizophrenia is defense of a fantasy self.
Because the ego separated self is an idea that is false and must be defended to seem real to us, if we did not desire the ego separated self, and did not defend it, the ego disappears, and where mental disorders exist, they, too, disappear.
If one did not desire an ego, separated self, big or small, what one would find is that the real self is life (unit of life) that upon manifesting in body and sensing the issues in the body it manifested in constructed the ego separated self with the belief that it would enable it to use that particular ego to adapt to its world. Instead of helping him to adapt to its world, the problematic ego now compounds his problems.
If as an adult, the individual lets go of the ideas he has about his ego and has no more ideas of who he is, he finds that there is no ego in him.
Only undifferentiated life is now in him. That life is quiet and peaceful.
However, in as much as the life in the individual is still living from a problematic body, with better information available to his adult mind, he can now construct a healthier self-concept.
Life in us is the constructor of the self-concept, self-image, and human personality; the part of undifferentiated life in each of us is poetically called the son of God, Christ or Buddha. It has no name but call it what you like if you accept that there is undifferentiated life and that that life is differentiated in the individual; we are each a part of the whole life, whole self (whole life, whole self is what folks call God).
We can understand our problematic egos, self-concepts, and personalities and reconceptualize them and make them healthier than neurotic or psychotic egos; we can use our separated selves to love instead of hating other selves, and in doing so live-in peace with all people.
My approach to the human ego, self-concept and self-image and personality is biosocial; by that I mean that the individual’s inherited body issues and his society affect the construction of his self-concept. I do not accept only a spiritual approach to people that ignore their biological and sociological issues. I see all writing on spirituality as poetry, containing some truth, but not the absolute truth. I can only accept what makes sense to me; what makes sense to me is that our inherited biological constitutions and society affect us, and that the unknown aspect of us called spirit also influence us.
December 6, 2021